Don't make strawberry picking a game of chance. Strawberries do not ripen after being picked, so you must choose wisely. The ripest berries shine a brilliant red and have no white or green tips. The skin appears shiny and they emit a sweet strawberry odor. Their caps should be bright green and show no sign of wilting.
An overripe berry appears dark and its sheen fades. If you have access to the cartons in which the berries were transported, look for signs of mold and stains -- indications that the berries are past their prime. Extra-large berries are visually appealing, but they may be hollow inside and not give you the best bang for your buck. Small berries tend to be too seedy. Opt for medium-sized berries, which are the most dense, juicy and flavorful.
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